A record 18 Welsh Lions appeared on the 1977 tour, captained by Phil Bennett. Pic: Getty Images.

Welsh Lions – The History And The Numbers

The 12 Welsh Lions for 2017 are: Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones, Ross Moriarty, George North, Ken Owens, Rhys Webb, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (captain) and Liam Williams. But who went before?


The Lions haven’t won a series in New Zealand since John Dawes led the 1971 team to a 2-1 victory with one further game drawn. There were 13 Welshmen involved in that tour, while in 1977, when Phil Bennett led the side to New Zealand, there were 18 Welsh players involved.

The first Welshman to tour with the Lions was Llandovery College, Cambridge University and Llanelli forward Willie Thomas in 1888. The first Welshman to play in a Test match was the Cardiff centre Gwyn Nicholls in Australia in 1899.

The first Welshman to be honoured with the captaincy of the Lions in a Test match was Teddy Morgan, against Australia on 23 July, 1904.

The 2017 Lions, coached by Warren Gatland, will play 10 matches, including three Tests against the world champions All Blacks.






1888 Australia / New Zealand) 1
Player: Willie Thomas


1891 South Africa 0


1896 South Africa 0


1899 Australia1
Player: Gwyn Nicholls

1903 South Africa 1
Player: Reg Skrimshire


1904 Australia / New Zealand 8
Players: Rhys Gabe, Fred Jowett, Willie Llewellyn, Teddy Morgan, Percy Bush, Tommy Vile, Sid Bevan, Arthur Harding


1908 Australia / New Zealand 12
Players: John Dyke, Reggie Gibbs, Roland Griffiths, Jack Jones, Tuan Jones, Johnnie Williams, William Morgan, Edgar Morgan, Rob Green, Arthur Harding (captain), John F Williams, Lennie Thomas


1910 South Africa 7 + 1
Players: Stan Williams, Ambrose Baker, Jack Jones, Reg Plummer, Noel Humphreys, Harry Jarman, Phil Waller + Jim Webb


1924 South Africa 4 + 1
Players: Rowe Harding, Vince Griffiths, David Marsden-Jones + Harold Davies


1930 New Zealand / Australia 6
Players: Jack Bassett, Harry Bowcott, Tommy Jones-Davies, Jack Morley, Howard Poole, Ivor Jones


1938 South Africa 8
Players: Viv Jenkins, Bill Clement, Elvet Jones, Haydn Tanner, Eddie Morgan, Russel Taylor, Bill Travers, Ivor Williams


1950 New Zealand / Australia 13 + 1
Players: Billy Cleaver, Ken Jones, Jack Matthews, Bleddyn Williams, Malcom Thomas, Rex Willis, Cliff Davies, Dai Davies, Bob Evans, Dai Hayward, Roy John, John Robins, Rees Stephens + Lewis Jones


1955 South Africa 10 + 1
Players: Alun Thomas, Haydn Morris, Cliff Morgan Trevor Lloyd, Billy Williams, Bryn Meredtih, Courtenay Meredith, Rhys Williams, Clem Thomas, Russ Robins + Gareth Griffiths


1959 Australia / New Zealand 9
Players: Terry Davies, Malcolm Price, Malcolm Thomas, Ray Prosser, Bryn Meredith, Roddy Evans, John Faull, Rhys Williams, Haydn Morgan


1962 South Africa 9 + 1
Players: Dewi Bebb, D Ken Jones, Tony O’Connor, Kingsley Jones, Bryn Meredith, Keith Rowlands, Dai Nash, Alun Pask, Haydn Morgan + Glyn Davidge


1966 Australia / New Zealand 11 + 1
 Dewi Bebb, D Ken Jones, Stuart Watkins, Dai Watkins, Allan Lewis, Howard Norris, Denzil Williams, Brian Price, Delme Thomas, Alun Pask, Gary Protheroe + Terry Price


1968 South Africa 11
Players: Gerald Davies, Keith Jarrett, Keri Jones, Billy Raybould, Maurice Richards, Barry John, Gareth Edwards, John O’Shea, Jeff Young, Delme Thomas, John Taylor



1971 Australia / New Zealand 13 + 1
 JPR Williams, Gerald Davies, John Bevan, Arthur Lewis, John Dawes (captain), Barry John, Ray Hopkins, Gareth Edwards, Mike Roberts, Delme Thomas, Derek Quinnell, John Taylor, Mervyn Davies + Geoff Evans



1974 South Africa 9
Players: JPR Williams, JJ Williams, Clive Rees, Roy Bergiers, Phil Bennett, Gareth Edwards, Bobby Windsor, Tom David, Mervyn Davies


1977 New Zealand / Fiji 16 + 2
Players: JJ Williams, Elgan Rees, Gareth Evans, Steve Fenwick, David Burcher, John D Bevan, Phil Bennett (catain), Brynmor Williams, Bobby Windsor, Clive Williams,  Graham Price, Allan Martin, Derek Quinnell, Jeff Squire, Terry Cobner, Trefor Evans + Tony Faulkner, Alan Lewis


1980 South Africa 13 + 2
Players: Elgan Rees, Peter Morgan, Ray Gravell, Dai Richards, Gareth Davies, Terry Holmes, Alan Phillips, Graham Price, Clive Williams, Allan Martin, Derek Quinnell, Jeff Squire, Stuart Lane + Ian Stephens, Gareth Williams


1983 New Zealand 8 + 1
Players: Gwyn Evans, Rob Ackerman, Terry Holmes, Staff Jones, Graham Price, Ian Stephens, Rob Norster, Jeff Squire + Eddie Butler


1989 Australia 7 + 1
Players: Mike Hall, Ieuan Evans, John Devereux, Rob Jones, Mike Griffiths, Dai Young, Rob Norster + Tony Clement


1993 New Zealand 5
Players: Tony Clement, Ieuan Evans, Scott Gibbs, Rob Jones, Richard Webster


1997 South Africa 8
Players: Neil Jenkins, Ieuan Evans, Allan Bateman, Scott Gibbs, Rob Howley, Dai Young, Barry Williams, Scott Quinnell


2001 Australia 10 + 1
Players: Dafydd James, Mark Taylor, Neil Jenkins, Rob Howley, Dai Young, Robin McBryde, Darren Morris, Scott Quinnell, Coin Charvis, Martyn Williams + Scott Gibbs


2005 New Zealand 10 + 2
Players: Gareth Thomas, Gavin Henson, Tom Shanklin, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper, Dwayne Peel, Gethin Jenkins, Michael Owen, Martyn Williams + Brent Cockbain, Ryan Jones


2009 South Africa 13
Players: Lee Byrne, Leigh Halfpenny, Shane Williams, Jamie Roberts, James Hook, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Matthew Rees, Alun Wyn Jones, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams


2013 Australia 13 + 1
Players: Leigh Halfpenny, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Mike Phillips,  Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (captain), Justin Tipuric + Shane Williams


Those players who appear as + are replacements on the tour.

1910: Stanley Williams was born in Rogerstone, played for Newport and was uncapped when he went on the tour. In 1911 he won the first of four caps for England when RFU picked him because Newport was a member of the RFU as well as the WRU.

1910:  Noel Humphreys was born in Bridgend, but was playing for Tynedale. He never won an international cap and was killed in WW1.

There were three tours to Argentina in 1910, 1927 and 1936, but no Welsh players went on those trips.

Jeff Whitefoot and Malcolm Dacey never went on a tour, but they played for the Lions against  The Rest in 1986 in a game staged to help celebrate the centenary of the IRB.


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